NewsReel 23/4/2014 - The Status of Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council; To Put The Records Straight

[ Masterweb Reports: Hon. Chuks Ibegbu reports ] – A few misled and misinformed young men that have disrespect for order and integrity recently launched a campaign of calumny and virulence against me in the social media. They made several spurious claims and tissues of lies which betrayed them as desperadoes and enemies of Ndigbo. These lies bother on the recent arrest of some young men who were parading themselves as the officers of Ohanaeze Youth Council OYCand their mentors  and the question of the difference between Ohanaeze Youth Council and Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing. 


 
Ordinarily, I would have kept quiet as their vituperations do not deserve my my very scarce attention, but if I do not clear the air, their tirades may begin to have the toga or resemblance of truth.
 
Though I do not consider myself a Youth by age now , I remain a Youth at heart and will continue to have interest in Youth affairs since  OYC was my home constituency from where I launched into other departments of life. I was once the Secretary-General of the OYC and its Ag. National Chairman following the demise of Hon Nnamdi Nwokocha, the former National Chairman. I cannot therefore be far off from an organisation  I once played a key role and which I remain the custodian.
 
Now I will state the background to the formation of the OYC so that those parading themselves as officers of the Council  or trying to create parallel outfit with the same name will desist from their unbecoming act.
 
In the early 2000, when the parent body , Ohanaeze Ndigbo saw the need to set up a Youth wing , they dug into the archives and selected Hon Nnamdi  Nwokocha(Carmel) of the Ex Rangers  International, and Comrade Chuks Ibegbu (my self) the kickstart the body and bring in other credible young men . Nnamdi was made the first National Chairman and myself became the Secretary -General based on the recommendation of key Igbo leaders running Ohanaeze Ndigbo then and also on the confidence Igbo Youths had in us . Before then there were several failed efforts to put up a formidable Youth structure for Ohanaeze Ndigbo. Then there was the issue of what name the Youth wing would bear. Several suggestions were made including Ebubeagu, Ogbunigwe, Ntorobia Igbo , Igbo third force, etc, but Hon Nwokocha and my humble self brainstormed and tagged it Ohanaeze Youth Council to make other Nigerians have a feel of our national and international colour. We agreed on the LION LOGO  and the MOTTO(IN DEFENCE OF IGBO NATIONALITY). The parent body accepted all these suggestion and soon we began to establish the branches of the body in all the states of Nigeria and even overseas.


 
The Youth wing of Ohanaeze Ndigbo is therefore the same as the Ohanaeze Youth Council, OYC and nobody should delude himself or think he is smart enough to seperate the two or distort history.Atleast , I am still alive and am a good student of history.
 
The OYC underwent several challenges . At a point it was suspended by the parent body sometime in 2002 after they visited President Obasanjo to find out why he was neglecting Ndigbo then.The parent body quarreled with the fact that they were not fully privy to that visit which naturally should have been cleared by the Imeobi(the inner chamber of the body) , even if the visit was germane. The suspension took place at the General Assembly meeting of Ohanaeze Ndigbo and in attendance at that meeting were such Igbo heavy weight such as the Great Ikemba Nnewi, Gen Odumegwu Ojukwu, the late Oyi of Oyi, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, Comrade Uche Chukwumerije and many others. But at another Imeobi meeting at Abakiliki, the Ebonyi state Capital in 2003 , the suspension was lifted after the then President-General of the body, Rtd Justice Ezebuilo Ozobu suggested the doctrine of neccessity and the well tested legal principle of aldi altarem partem (the other side need to be heard) to plead for our case. The suspension was lifted. Nnamdi Nwokocha and my humble self continued to pilot the affairs of OYC  during the regime of Prof. Joe Irukwu creditably. When the embattled regime of Dr Dozie Ikedife came on board, he stood down our activities and preferred to use one of our veterans , Mazi Bismark Orji under the auspices of Ntorobia Igbo to carry out Youth activities. That did not however eclipse the legendary OYC headed by Hon Nwokocha and my humble self. We only went into the cocoon waiting for the dark cloud to pass. Ironically even Dr Ikedife bandied about his son as the Youth leader of Ndigbo in one of his trips to South Africa thus pillorying the Bismark led outfit. When Amb. Raph Uwechue took over the leadership of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo , He in his wisdom  made me his Senior Special Assistant and Peter Obi made Nwokocha his Special Assistant on Sports, being a celebrated footballer. We set out to make several proposals to Amb Uwechue on how to rejig the OYC  and facilitate our smooth handover to younger persons.
Actually Amb. Uwechue who believed so much in the capacity of Youths and women set up a committee headed by the present P G of Ohanaeze Chief Gary Igariwey to fashion out a modality for that.It was in that process and the intervening period that Hon Nwokocha unfortunately died.I was left to act as the Ag. National Chairman and Secretary-General respectively hoping to hand over appropriately once an election is held.
 
God heard my prayers and the regime of Chief Gary Igariwey and Dr Joe Nworgu acceded to the wishes of Igbo Youths and held the National Youth election on the 5th of April, 2014. Hon Okechukwu Isiguzoro , the former Youth leader of the body in Abia state emerged as the National President in the keenly contested election. Other candidates also emerged from their various states in the positions basketed to them.


 
The elected NEC  of OYC were sworn in immediately thereafter waiting only for the inauguration where I will now officially hand over the mantle to them as Hon Nwokocha and my humble self dreamt. They have set up an inauguration commitee for their official inauguration.
 
It was therefor shocking when I learnt that a group of young men sought to carry out the inauguration of the NEC of OYC at somewhere in New Heaven area of Enugu at the same date the President of Nigeria was visiting Enugu for a political event. Though my concern was not about the Presidential Rally much as it was on how the young men decided to carry out an illegality on the same day the President was visiting the town under the name of OYC . As an Elder statesman of the body however when I heard they were arrested by the Police I went to the Police station with Isiguzoro and few other dully elected officers of the body around.  I later discovered that my good friends Comrade Chilos Godsent and Comrader Zulu Ofolue were behind the purported inauguration. I also saw my veteran good friend Osmond Ugwu at the police station the next morning . I tried to parley with them so that the situation can be settled out of the police nothwithstanding the illegalities.The case was transfered to the state CID at Enugu and I was also there working to see that things did not get out of hand. But there was still an insistence that the OYC  that I know of and I headed was different from the OYC Isiguzoro is now heading. Ofcourse I cannot accept that. 
 
Well, the Enugu commissioner of Police decided to take the case to court after interrogating them .Though I did not want a situation where Igbo matters are settled in court , there was not much I could do once the case became subjudice.
 
Even as the case is now some judice,  I was shocked to read a write up by Mazi Okwu Okwu in which he used some unbecoming lang
 
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